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Faceless Animal Characters

DESIGNING WOMEN/CBS/1986-93 (Brownie) The never seen but mentioned dog of Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts), a divorced mother who worked for an Atlanta, Georgia design firm on the sitcom

THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56 (Lulu) - The beloved dog of Ed Norton (Art Carney), New York sewer worker mentioned on "The Sleepwalker" episode on the classic sitcom . Ed lost Lulu in the Tunnel of Love at Coney Island when she jumped out of the boat after a cocker spaniel when he was a child. Ever since then he experienced bouts of sleepwalking where he aimlessly cried out "Lulu, Lulu." A trip to the psychiatrist and a shot of Pentathol revealed why he sleepwalked. To cure him, close friend Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) purchased a replacement Lulu as a gift. Unfortunately, the dog didn't cure Ed but now when he went sleepwalking he carried Lulu the Second for company. Ed, however, no longer keeps a dog because according to his wife Thelma "Trixie" Norton (Joyce Randolph), Ed is now allergic to fur.

IVAN THE TERRIBLE/CBS/1976 (Rasputin the dog) - Rasputin was the family pet of Ivan (Lou Jacobi), a headwaiter working at the Hotel Metropole in modern day Moscow, Russia. Ivan had to share his apartment with nine other people and his ferocious sounding dog. Rasputin was never seen on the series.

LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (Bob the dog) - A rare breed of Belgian Air-Head occasionally featured on the NBC talk show during the 1980s & 1990s. The personal pet of comedian David Letterman, Bob the Dog (who was never seen) had a video-camera tied to his body so that when he moved about, the TV viewers could see a "dog's eye" view of the world. Bob ran up and down stairs, jumped on and off objects and otherwise created a whirlwind of canine acrobatics for the late night TV audience. NOTE: On Letterman's inaugural "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment in 1982, a dog named Mugsy sneezed and answered a phone. Former Letterman writer Merrill Markoe created the Stupid Pet Tricks back in 1980 for Letterman's short-lived NBC morning show. Dial 1-888-PET-TRIK or (212) 975-5950 if you have a stupid animal act or write "Stupid Pet/Human Tricks" Late Show with David Letterman, 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

THE SOUPY SALES SHOW/ABC/1955-62/SYN/1978-79 (White Fang & Black Tooth) - Two of his most popular puppets were Soupy's canine house pets, White Fang "the biggest and meanest dog in the USA" and Black Tooth, "the kindest dog in the USA." All the viewers ever saw of either dog were their shaggy white or black paws which reached from off-camera to interact with Soupy Sales while he was on the air. Occasionally, Marilyn Monwolf, an amorous friend of White Fang and Black Tooth visited the show. Another faceless favorites recurring sketch occurred when Soupy answered the door of his clubhouse and began talking with whomever had knocked at the door. Standing offstage, the unseen visitor would talk to Soupy who often got a pie thrown in his face for his troubles. Once during the "door" skit, the stage crew brought in a totally nude dancer to stand in for the usual door to door salesman/visitor. Speechless, Soupy watched the monitor and thought the whole thing was actually being broadcast live to his viewing audience and that his career was over. Luckily, the whole affair was a closed-circuit broadcast and no one but the stage crew and Soupy were ever to know until it became a popular story to tell years later. Still another faceless visitor to Soupy's place was his girlfriend, Ella Phant who lived in a trunk. See also CHILDREN'S SHOW HOSTS - "Soupy Sales"


 

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